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Hala Gorani Tonight
International Pressure Grows For Israel-Gaza Truce; Netanyahu: Operations Will Continue "As Necessary"; Johnson: No "Conclusive" Evidence To Delay England's Reopening; Six Thousand Migrants Swim From Morocco To Spanish Enclave; Indian Prime Minister Pledges To Ramp Up COVID-19 Vaccinations; E.U. Foreign Policy Chief Calls For Ceasefire. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired May 18, 2021 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone live from CNN London. I'm Hala Gorani. Tonight, more than a week in and those sign of a ceasefire
between Israel and Hamas, Palestinians have been holding mass protests and declared a general strike. We are live across the region.
And another sadly familiar sight, thousands of migrants rambling onto European countries shores. This time, it's on the border of Morocco and
Spain. I speak to the Spanish Foreign Minister live this hour.
And as if India didn't have enough to deal with right now, a huge cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 200 kilometers an hour has smashed into the
west coast of the country.
While world leaders call for peace, the conflict between Israel and militants in Gaza is deepening by the hour. The Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu is vowing to press ahead with airstrikes saying he has quote, no doubt that the relentless attacks have pushed back the
capabilities of Hamas and Islamic Jihad by years. Gaza's Health Ministry says 213 people have now been killed, including 61 children.
The death toll in Israel has now risen to 12 after two people were killed in a mortar attack on a farm just across the Gaza border. Militants also
fired rockets toward the cities of Ashdod and Beersheba further north.
Also today, Palestinians across the West Bank and East Jerusalem turned out for a general strike. You're seeing some images from west from Bethlehem in
the West Bank today. It was a day of protest in solidarity with the people of Gaza. One Palestinian was killed, and two Israeli soldiers were wounded.
Nic Robertson is following all of these developments tonight. He is in the -- live near the Israel-Gaza border. So we're seeing a lot of diplomatic
activity. We're seeing calls for a ceasefire in Europe, for instance, we'll get to that a little bit later, support from the White House for a
ceasefire, a call for a ceasefire from other countries around the world. What is the latest, though, on what's going on between Israel and Gaza
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: You know, I think it's the situation remains the same Hala to be perfectly honest, you know, just
earlier on today, a rocket came and hit the building just behind us over there.
And just two minutes before coming on air, we were in the bomb shelter here in the hotel, because the sirens are going off, because there's another
attack coming in here. It does seem to be very much the case that while the diplomats are talking about trying to effort, some kind of peace, the
reality on the ground is different.
You were talking about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying that he believed that Hamas has been dealt a blow that they will understand that
their capabilities have been pushed back. But a briefing by Israeli officials earlier this evening indicated that they still have a lot of
tunnel networks that they want to go after this.
So they plan to move on to different areas in Gaza, to target those tunnel networks, that at the start of this conflict, there was an assessment that
Hamas and other groups in Gaza had about 13,000 to 14,000 rockets, they've only fired about three and a half thousand of those. They're having a great
deal of difficulty, it seems actually targeting the rocket launchers themselves.
So, you know, by the Israeli desire to limit what Hamas can do in the future and what the Prime Minister is saying, this isn't going to be over
particularly soon. And I'm listening to huge explosions in the distance behind me. And I'm guessing those are probably airstrikes on Gaza. I can't
tell precisely, but that's what the pattern that we've become familiar with. And so, I think that's an approximate answer to your question.
GORANI: Are the Israelis allowing journalists into Gaza to report on what's going on there?
ROBERTSON: Yes, there was an opportunity it seemed this morning. You know, overnight, Hamas hadn't fired any rockets for about five hours during the
night, the first time over the past week out of Gaza. And there seem to be a sort of a humanitarian sort of truce pause, understanding to allow
humanitarian convoys to go into Gaza, but after that had just started, a couple of checkpoints were hit by mortars and Israeli soldier was lightly
wounded at one of those checkpoints and that was close and shut down. And I think during that period, there was a hope that journalists could get into
What we have heard this evening is that journalists will be able to go into Gaza. And they will, that they will, they will essentially be saying that
the they understand the risks of going there and they accept the risk, which is standard fare for journalists, you and I both know this, that, you
know, you on occasion, find yourself in harm's way going into Gaza clearly puts journalists in harm's way.
So, going in there will be some sort of declaration that that understanding is understood that you're putting yourself in potential harm's way because
it does seem that the hostilities are not going to end soon.
GORANI: Well, that is standard, as you mentioned there. Nic Robertson journalists accept the risk and we know many journalists are wanting to go
into Gaza to report on what's going on there. Thanks very much.
The White House says President Joe Biden would like a ceasefire, but he hasn't directly called for one. Other world leaders are more explicit
saying the fighting needs to end now. The French President Emmanuel Macron held the trilateral summit with the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
and Jordan's King Abdullah today. Now they pledged to work on quote, concrete proposals for a truce between Israel and Gaza militants. Also
European Union foreign ministers discussed the conflict during a video conference today. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH BORRELL, EU FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF: The priority is the immediate cessation of all violence. And the implementation of a ceasefire not only
agreed but to implement the ceasefire. The purpose is to protect civilians and to give full humanitarian access in Gaza.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: OK, that was Joseph Borrell, the EU Foreign Affairs Minister. This came within a week after the beginning of hostilities. So some people are
asking. Salma Abdelaziz who joins me in Beirut. Why it took so long and why some of the Western leaders are still equivocal about how clearly they're
asking for a cessation of hostilities.
Salma, what is the very latest, not just on what Western powers are calling for, but also efforts in the region to try to get the two sides to agree to
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Absolutely Hala, there seems to be a flurry of diplomatic activity that hasn't changed anything on the ground yet, but
let me tell you about a few of the different mediation efforts that are playing out. Key among them, of course, is the Egyptians they were key in
brokering a ceasefire during the 2014 war.
They say they will spare no effort to bring an end to the hostilities. The Egyptians are joined as well by the French and the Jordanians, the French
are saying that they are engaging and trying to find a concrete proposal. They say over the coming days, they're going to be developing that
alongside President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, of course, and the King of Jordan.
You also of course, have the United States making efforts of what they call intensive diplomacy. You mentioned, of course, the call with President
Biden where he expresses the need for a ceasefire, we already know that there was an envoy on the ground, who was meeting with both sides
Palestinian factions urging him to have Israelis and hostilities. He's trying to negotiate immediate that effort.
And finally, of course, you have the United Nations have already. There has been meetings behind closed doors, one public meeting, we also know that
the United States has so far blocked three attempts Hala, putting out a statement from the full Security Council about what's happening with this
The Secretary of State of the United States was asked about this and said that they're absolutely not blocking mediation efforts. He said that
they're constantly asking themselves, what will advance the peace process? How can we take it a step forward? And that that is the decision making
that is the thinking.
But as you've heard from my colleague, Nic Robertson, there, there does not seem to be the effort, the motivation on the Israeli side to end this.
President Netanyahu has made clear that they have military objectives that they want to meet and that they must be met before these hostilities.
And we did have that brief pause as well, that you heard there for Nic Robertson, that brief pause in the rockets being fired out of the Gaza
Strip overnight, but that seems to have obviously resumed.
So the concern is, is there still not the desire on either side to reach an agreement. And Hala, I can't emphasize this enough. Everybody is talking
about a ceasefire, a ceasefire will hold for how long? Egypt is talking about a one year proposal.
All sides are talking about a two-state solution, which any analysts will tell you hasn't been likely for decades, because the reality on the ground
simply doesn't allow for it. The Palestinian factions are divided. There's simply too many factors on the ground to allow for even a two state
solution that seems almost like to impossible at this point.
So the question is, what is the lasting peace look like Hala? Is this just going to be temporary ceasefire, just a temporary hold in hostilities, and
then it resumes again in a few months in a year, and then we look at more civilians live loss. That's the question here Hala.
All of these diplomatic efforts, but ultimately, what is a lasting peace going to look like? If there is an even is one being discussed Hala?
GORANI: Right. We've seen this movie before. We've seen the fighting. We've then seen ceasefire agreements, and then fighting flare up again, because
whatever is causing this conflict has now been resolved. Salma Abdelaziz, live in Beirut, thanks very much.
As fighting escalates into the second week of this current flare up, critics are casting blame. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently
on trial for bribery, fraud and breach of trust. And some say he's stoking tensions with Gaza in an effort to stay in power. So that's quite a cynical
way to look at what Benjamin Netanyahu is doing now is that by enlarge what ordinary Israelis feel and think?
Hadas Gold joins me now live from Tel Aviv with war on Israeli public opinion. What is their view of what their prime minister is doing right now
in response to the Gaza rockets, but also in response to demonstrations against evictions and (INAUDIBLE) and other issues Palestinians are
HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, I spent some time in Tel Aviv today specifically around in a neighborhood where a rocket landed and
caused extensive damage and killed a man in the Ramat Gan area, it's on the outskirts of Tel Aviv.
And we spoke to residents there, across the political spectrum. And one thing that we took away from speaking to Israelis there is, especially in
times of war, in times of conflict, Israelis tend to they say, put aside their political differences and all come together in the times of need,
especially in a neighborhood like where we were in Ramat Gan, which experienced a devastating a rocket that really caused extensive damage to
several buildings up and down this one block and as I noted, did kill one man in that neighborhood.
But for some of them, that you know, the political instability that was very much the headlines here, up until this conflict started is still on
their minds, even though they're putting it aside for now. We spoke to some people who were actually even paying dues members of Netanyahu's Likud
Party, who said that they were done with Netanyahu, they wanted him to step aside and allow new people to take over the party and to form a new
We spoke to other people who thought that Netanyahu was using this conflict to further his own gains, because actually what we've seen Hala is as this
conflict has continued, the political calculations here have changed dramatically, because the for this kicked off, Naftali Bennett, the leader
of the small right-wing party Yamina, who was one of the kingmakers in this situation was pretty close to announcing that he was going to be part of
this new anti-Netanyahu block that was put with the centrist leader, Yair Lapid and they were going to form this new government.
And the sources we were speaking to that said that they were just a week or two away from announcing they had were able to form a new government. But
since this conflict started, Bennett has changed his mind, he's veered back towards Netanyahu saying that he can no longer be part of this anti-
Netanyahu block, and is now going back to renegotiate with Benjamin Netanyahu.
We still don't know, though whether Netanyahu has those numbers to form that majority government. And if this new anti-Netanyahu block fails to
form a government within the deadline, then the Israeli President can send it back to the parliament, the parliament can try to do this.
But it's clear, though, that this conflict has very much changed the political calculations here, because where we were over a week ago before
the started is very different from where we are now.
GORANI: Now, we don't know what's in Benjamin Netanyahu's head, we don't know what whether or not he made certain decisions based on his political
fortunes or misfortunes. But I'm quoting one of his ex-aides Aviv Bushinsky said and he was quoted in the Financial Times, Netanyahu had no cards left
to play, and suddenly, he was saved by the bell.
He's so lucky, every time. This is what one of his ex-aides had to say about Netanyahu. What are his really is telling you about whether or not
they believe there was something -- there was a political calculation and all of this.
GOLD: I mean, some of them believe that there might be some political calculations. And there's definitely a military calculation in the military
that we need, when you speak to them, they say that they still have a lot of military objectives that they want to hit in the Gaza Strip, they want
to degrade Hamas to the point that they'll have years of quiet ahead of them to hopefully degrade their rocket capabilities to the point where they
won't have to worry as much about rockets in the coming years.
But politically, there are some Israelis out there who believe that there is a political element to this. Benjamin Netanyahu has denied this. He says
that he never would put the security of Israelis at risk in a situation like this.
But, you're right that I mean, without this conflict, that is very possible or potentially likely that Benjamin Netanyahu would be ending his run as
prime minister as the longest serving Prime Minister of Israel because it looked like the anti-Netanyahu block was possibly going to be able to form
a government. And now that does not seem to be on the table anymore because Naftali Bennett is pulling back.
Again, this is Israeli politics. Things can change very quickly. We could be in a completely different situation a week from now.
One thing I did hear, though, from all of the Israelis was that they wanted this to end they wanted this to come to an end, I heard many of them saying
that they -- there's innocent peoples on both sides. They said the average person they think both in Israel and in Gaza, and among the Palestinians do
want -- do not want conflict, they want peace, and they want to see the chaos and the destruction and the death.
And they just want peace. They want to go back to their lives. They want -- and they do want long lasting peace. They don't want to see as you were
discussing with Salma before a return to this endless cycle that we see of violence and of conflict.
GORANI: All right. Hadas Gold, thanks very much coming to us live from Tel Aviv.
A word on COVID now, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that England should delay its plans to
fully reopen. Mr. Johnson addressed fears that the variant first identified in India would impact England's roadmap to -- roadmap to reopen by June
He said researchers are studying affected areas in England to see whether the new variant is more transmissible. But Mr. Johnson credited the
country's successful vaccination program for the end of lockdown.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Well, we're looking at the epidemiology the whole time as it comes in. And at the moment, I think
partly because we've built up such a wall of defenses with the vaccination program, I don't see anything conclusive at the moment to say that we need
to deviate from the roadmap. But we -- we've got to be cautious. And we're keeping everything under very close observation, will know a lot more than
a few days time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: And by the way, I'll be speaking to the Spanish Foreign Minister about Israel and Gaza, but also about plans to reopen and allow tourists
back into Spain. Some of the countries in Europe relies so heavily on tourism euros, but it's very important for them to get this right, to make
sure they can welcome as many tourists as possible in the safest possible way.
So basically, what does this all mean? It means that eventually, at some point, maybe not next week, maybe not in two weeks, maybe in a few months,
we'll be getting back to some sort of normality, right. And as England and some other countries and lock downs.
Many people are finding that it's not so easy to return to normal life. It was a little weird for me being in the studio yesterday, to be completely
honest. Psychologists are calling it re-entry anxiety. Yes, we needed a new anxiety and we've got one for you.
Our Phil Black spoke to people who have overcome similar challenges.
PHIL BLACK, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): Confined largely to our homes, deprived of freedoms, experiences, and human connections. Somehow, we've
mostly learned to get by. Now in countries with advanced vaccine programs we must adapt to get. To crowds, to conversations to a pace of life that
seems distant, and personally, a little intimidating.
(on-camera): And that makes me feel nervous, anxious, even fearful. But I don't know why I'm feeling this way.
ANA NIKCEVIC, PSYCHOLOGIST: I think we have all become a little inclined to be closed in and hesitant to go back to that normal life. And we need to
reinvigorate that social muscle.
BLACK (voice-over): Psychologist Ana Nikcevic, says nervousness about returning to something like our old reality, now has a name, re-entry
anxiety, but it's not new.
NIKCEVIC: This phenomenon has been observed by psychologists before in people who have spent protracted periods of time in isolation. For example,
people who have gone in the space.
BLACK (voice-over): Chris Hadfield understands why some people are feeling anxious.
CHRIS HADFIELD, RETIRED ASTRONAUT: My longest time in space, when I was living on board and commanding the International Space Station was a little
under six months, so half a year halfway around the sun.
BLACK (voice-over): Hadfield says he returned to Earth, a different person, and many of those emerging from lockdown will also have experienced
profound personal change.
(on-camera): Perhaps some of the anxiety is fueled by the fear that things could go back, that we could lose some of what we've found through this
HADFIELD: I think that's up to each of us Phil, how am I going to take this new version of me and introduce it to this new version of the world in a
productive way as I possibly can?
BLACK (on-camera): A practical optimism I think that's what you're advocating there is that fair?
HADFIELD: That's how we fly spaceships Phil with a very deeply based practical optimism.
BLACK (voice-over): Pip Hare believed she is her best self when battling oceans alone. She recently finished a 96-day non stop single handed race
around the world. But even with all her extraordinary courage, returning to life on land can be overwhelming.
PIP HARE, LONG-DISTANCE SOLO SAILOR: Just need to remember that we are adaptable, and we will go to a different kind of normal again. But you
don't want to throw yourself at it too hard, allow the change to happen gradually and make sure you're doing things that work for you.
JASON REZAIAN, JOURNALIST: My wife and I were arrested --
BLACK (voice-over): Jason resigned was imprisoned in Iran while working as the Washington Post's bureau chief.
REZAIAN: I spent 49 days in solitary confinement. And I went on to spend a total of 544 days in that prison.
BLACK (voice-over): He knows the complex emotions that follow a sudden return to a once familiar life.
REZAIAN: In my case, I was, you know, one person and, and my wife, we were two people that were dealing with this. What we're talking about now is
billions of people around the world coming to this at almost the same time, just recognizing that everybody is going to have a different reaction. And
many of those reactions are going to be unexpected, unexpected to the world and unexpected to those people themselves.
BLACK (on-camera): So we should all be a little gentle with each other, perhaps.
REZAIAN: I think we should always be a little bit gentle with each other but certainly in the weeks and the months ahead, you know, I think we
should err towards forgiveness, there's going to be a lot of awkward encounters for everybody.
BLACK (voice-over): Everyone wants the pandemic to end. But in a world where old certainties have been swept aside, we can't all be sure, we'll
want everything that comes next.
Phil Black, CNN, London.
GORANI: One of our other top stories, Spain's Prime Minister is promising to restore order to his country's enclaves of Ceuta. The Spanish territory
saw its biggest single day influx of migrants ever on Monday. Imagine the figures some people swam 6,000 people came in from Morocco trying to get to
the tiny sliver of European soil on Africa's North Coast.
Almost half of these people have been sent back already. And the Prime Minister is vowing that everyone who entered illegally will return to
Morocco. However, there have been lots of minors among those who made the trip from Morocco. Al Goodman has our story from Madrid.
AL GOODMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Exhausted and cold, some 6,000 Moroccan migrants swam their way to the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in
Northern Africa, some waiting to shore, others breaching a border fence. Many of them minors and in need of medical attention. Some entered Southern
Ceuta at Tarajal Beach, but most came through northern Ceuta at Benzu Beach.
It was just a short swim around breakwaters, which marked the border up one side and then down the other to reach Ceuta. A Spanish government spokesman
said, risking their lives, many came under the cover of darkness, some aided by flotation devices, but the light at the end turned out to be
Spanish authorities not the warmest welcome.
Police enforce as the migrants arrived, many out of breath. One Moroccan man drowned, the government said.
Somewhere jubilant as they ran into Ceuta town, but it would be a short visit for many of them. The Spanish Interior Minister sing thousands had
already been sent back.
FERNANDO GRANDE-MARLASKA, SPANISH INTERIOR MINISTER (through translation): We will be strong in defending our borders.
GOODMAN (voice-over): Spain's Prime Minister announced a visit to Ceuta and Spain's other enclave Melilla on Morocco's North Coast and thank the
European Union for its support.
PEDRO SANCHEZ, SPANISH PRIME MINISTER (through translation): We will restore order with the greatest speed we will be firm to guarantee the
security of our citizens against any challenge at under any circumstance.
GOODMAN (voice-over): Troops were deployed to backup police and keep the situation contained while increasing border security officials said. The
president in Ceuta home to 84,000 Spaniards called the situation, unprecedented, demanding help.
(on-camera): The crisis in Ceuta is a sign of deep tension between Spain and Morocco. Political analysts say it's also increasing pressure on Spain
socialist government for its immigration policy from conservatives and from Spain's embolden far right party.
Al Goodman, CNN, Madrid.
GORANI: As I mentioned, I'll be speaking to Spain's Foreign Minister a little bit later.
(voice-over): And still to come after the break. Its disaster on top of disaster for India as a raging cyclone hits a country already pummeled by
the coronavirus. We'll have that story coming up. Stay with CNN.
GORANI: The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has remained largely silent about the brutal coronavirus wave, currently battering India. But today he
addressed the meeting of state and local officials pledging to ramp up COVID-19 vaccinations. He also asked for oxygen plants to be installed in
hospitals in every district in the country, though as we've been covering over the last several weeks, this is coming a bit late for many people
who've already lost their lives.
On top of the pandemic, the strongest cyclone on record to hit India's West Coast made landfall Monday night. The storm has already killed at least 26
people. It swept across several coastal states. The cyclone had wind speeds equivalent to a category three hurricane. India's Navy is trying to find
scores of workers who were on a barge and other vessels hit by the storm. CNN's Anna Coren has more.
ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): The death toll continues to rise in India in the wake of a monster cyclone that barreled
into the country's West Coast overnight, claiming the lives of more than two dozen people. It comes as the nation continues to be devastated by a
second wave of COVID-19 that on Tuesday crossed the mark of more than 25 million total cases, while recording the highest daily death toll of more
The fear is that Cyclone Tauktae has only further complicated efforts to try to stop the virus from further spreading. Hundreds of thousands of
Indians had to be evacuated from low lying areas in the state of Gujarat. As Tauktae made landfall, many crammed into shelters to weather the storm.
Some COVID patients had to move hospitals, while others experienced power outages and strong winds heavy rain and extensive flooding wreaked havoc.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said the cyclone was quote, a terrible double blow for families who have already
been hit by COVID infections and deaths.
Vaccination programs have been suspended in those badly affected states, which we're seeing a drop in cases prior to the cyclone. There are concerns
it could take days if not weeks to repair storm damage and complete cleanup operations before the vaccination program can be restored.
A search and rescue operation continues off the coast of Mumbai after one barge sank and another was adrift at offshore oil fields. The Navy has
rescued more than 170 people but more than 230 remain missing with efforts hampered by the poor weather conditions.
Anna Coren, CNN, Hong Kong.
GORANI: We'd have a lot more after the break, I'll speak to Spain's Foreign Minister. Stay with us.
GORANI: So many capitals around the world are hoping for a ceasefire or even calling for a ceasefire. But the Israeli military is saying that it is
in fact planning to ramp up its strikes on Hamas and its tunnels. An IDF spokesperson said the vast majority of the group's military infrastructure
is underground and efforts to destroy that network would only continue. The announcement flies in the face of all these international calls for the two
sides to lay down their arms.
And just hours ago, European Union Foreign Ministers held an emergency meeting, albeit more than a week after the beginning of hostilities, the
black's foreign -- block's Foreign Policy Chief says there's a lot to be done. But first, the fighting must stop. Even U.S. President Joe Biden and
his fellow Democratic Party members are focusing in on the crisis at an event in Michigan. He honored Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian American member
of the House of Representatives. This is what the U.S. President told her at that event in Michigan. Listen.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Rashida Tlaib, where is Rashida? I tell you what, Rashid, I want to say to you that I admire your intellect,
I admire your passion, and I admire your concern for so many other people. And it's my -- from my heart, I pray that your grandmom and family are
well, I promise you I'm going to do everything to see that they are on the West Bank. You're a fighter, and God thank you for being a fighter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So to give a little context of this, of course, the President is in Michigan. There is a very large Aram -- Arab American community in
Michigan, specifically in Dearborn, Michigan and Rashida Tlaib, of course is from that state.
Reaching out to her in this public way is something that would have gone down well with that particular audience. Let's bring in Arancha Gonzalez
Laya. She's Spain's Foreign Minister. She attended that meeting of European Foreign Ministers on the Israeli-Gaza conflict.
Her country is currently dealing with an influx of migrants and Spain is one of many European countries struggling to vaccinate people against the
Coronavirus and having to find a way to safely welcome tourists.
Thank you very much for being with us. First, I'll ask you about this Gaza meeting. The E.U. is now calling for a ceasefire, is that correct? What is
the hope? What do you hope will happen as a result of this call by the E.U. for a cessation of hostilities?
ARANCHA GONZALEZ LAYA, SPANISH FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, we are adding our voice to the very loud voices around the world that are asking for a
ceasefire to start now. We need to see that Gantz stop. We need to think of the civilians, of the many children that are dying and we need to see grant
humanitarian access. This is --
LAYA: -- the priority now, to protect the lives of citizens. This is the message that the E.U. very strongly send this afternoon after its meeting,
it's adding to the voices of many -- of the regional partners that are trying to broker this deal, is adding to the voice of the United States.
Let's hope that those voices are heard, and that we see a stop in the violence.
GORANI: Why did it take eight days to do this if it was so urgent?
LAYA: Well, it must be said that all of us from the E.U.'s High Representative, to individual ministers and heads of state and government
around Europe, have been doing shuttle diplomacy. I myself have been in contact with my (INAUDIBLE) logs with my colleagues in Palestine, in
Israel, in many of the countries in the region.
We've been trying to do this, putting pressure first, gentle, but clear. And now, we thought that we needed to take it to the next level and speak
together with one voice in favor of a cessation of hostilities. Now --
GORANI: Yes. The E.U. is Israel's biggest trading partner. The E.U. could have a lot of leverage if it wanted. I mean, the Cypriot Foreign Minister
is saying essentially, the European Union is really not doing what it should. It doesn't have the role of being an influencing force, either
because of differences in approach by Member States, or because there is no strategic approach from Brussels. Do you accept that the E.U.'s foreign
policy effort is not unified, not effective?
LAYA: No, I don't -- I wouldn't say that. Europe is very clearly and has said so in so many ways against terrorism. Europe is also in favor of a
negotiated two-state solution between Israel and Palestine. Europe is the world's largest provider of development aid to the Palestinian people.
Europe is also a committed trading partner of both Palestine and Israel.
Europe is doing what it can do, but Europe alone will not be able to solve this. This is why we have to work together with the United States, we have
to work together with regional partners in order to have a decisive influence and to move these short-term to a ceasefire.
But also think, and this is maybe what we haven't been doing enough of the solution we need to find, they need to find Israel and Palestine --
GORANI: So you --
LAYA: -- going back to a negotiating table, something --
GORANI: You're talking --
LAYA: -- that we've been saying for a while and it hasn't happened.
GORANI: You're talking about working with the United States that three times blocked a U.N. resolution calling for a ceasefire. There's also been
criticism of the Biden Administration. What has been, as the European Foreign Minister in Spain, your take on how the United States has
approached this crisis?
LAYA: Well, I'm not here to comment on the U.S. position or to give the U.S. advice about what it should do. I think it is important and we've
displayed this fully that we work together, that Europe and the United States work together hand in hand. We've been doing that. We've been
talking, we've been planning, we've been trying to influence by talking to different parties. So, I think we've been doing what allies and friends
should do, which is --
LAYA: -- try to influence in order to ensure what we hope will happen soon, Hala, a ceasefire.
This is the most urgent now. I'm sorry for repeating this, but this is what --
LAYA: -- needs to happen now to save people's lives.
GORANI: Let me ask you about this unprecedented number of migrants that came mainly from Morocco overnight to Ceuta, 6,000. Some of them swam the
20 kilometers. I understand most of them have been sent back. What -- but there were some minors, I believe, 1,500 minors that were not sent back.
Either way, you ---
GORANI: -- spoke to the Moroccan ambassador to the Spain. But you expressed displeasure. Why? Do you believe the Moroccans are not doing enough to keep
these migrants from attempting to cross into Spanish territory? Do you blame Morocco for this?
LAYA: Well, let's say that a border has two sides. On when both sides work together, they can do a lot to manage migratory flows. It's a, by the way,
which is a shared challenge that Spain and Morocco have. And we've been able to manage this challenge together in a core responsible manner. So if
we do it together, and we work together, we can manage this challenge, and we can limit the impact of irregular migratory flows.
If this doesn't work, then of course, we see the massive increases that we've seen over the past hours. But my sense, Hala, and this is the message
that I gave to the ambassador is that --
LAYA: -- we need to look into the future, we need to make sure that those that have entered Spain irregularly go back, and that we prevent a
situation from this from happening again. Ceuta is the external border of the European Union, it's not just the Spain.
GORANI: I've got a --
LAYA: -- It's the European Union. And the European Union wants to have good relations with its neighbors. But the good relations have to be shown also
by managing together, well, in a responsible manner migratory flows.
GORANI: So you don't sound very happy with Morocco on this particular point. Quick word on COVID here, you really, really need -- your country
needs tourists. Are you going to accept people who have had two vaccination jabs to your country without any quarantine requirements? How is the summer
looking for Spain?
LAYA: The summer is looking good. First, because we are massively vaccinating our citizens. Over 35 percent of our citizens have already
gotten a first shot. Second, because we can see COVID numbers going down. And third, because we are getting ready to welcome the tourists.
We are ready to welcome them or if they've been vaccinated with a COVID certificate. And without any additional requirement. And the E.U. gradually
is opening its borders to third countries with whom it had its borders closed to up until now in order to prepare for the summer season.
So, it's looking good, Hala, and I -- and we do hope to be able to receive many of the friends that love to come to Spain, to visit us and to enjoy
what this incredible country has to offer.
GORANI: OK. I wish you the best for this summer and selfishly, I hope you do accept people with two vaccination jabs. Thank you very much for joining
us, Arancha Gonzalez Laya from Madrid.
Well, let's talk about COVID because the U.S. is planning to send 20 million more doses of the Coronavirus vaccine overseas and this is being
welcomed by the Global Vaccine Alliance. Larry madonia joins me now live from Nairobi with more on what impact that could have for a country like
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's welcome news that the U.S. is committing 20 million more shots. They already committed 60 million from
AstraZeneca. Now it's Pfizer, Moderna, ad Johnson & Johnson. It's critically needed here in Kenya and around the continent, which is on the
verge of running out of shots.
And we've been to one hospital in Nairobi that's setting up its own oxygen production plans because there's a predictive fourth wave. And if that
happens, we might be looking at an India situation, unless there is enough oxygen to treat patients, especially those who are critical.
But also the wealthy countries have so many vaccines that they're offering it to children, and yet there's so many people that need it here. This is
the Chairperson of the Kenya Health Federation talking to how much they need it in this part of the world.
KANYENJE GAKOMBE, CHAIRMAN, KENYA HEALTHCARE FEDERATION: What we are hoping is that, you know, the doses that are somewhere in the U.S. will be shared
out, the ones that, you know, the 60 million that were not in use from the AstraZeneca vaccine so that they can be given. Especially to those who
receive the fastest, to be very, very great if they got the second dose so that the vaccine is -- serves the purpose it was meant for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADOWO: So countries like Kenya are receiving their vaccine from COVAX. It's the World Health Organization that's delivering vaccines for free or
discounted to low and middle-income countries.
However, COVAX also receives its vaccines from the Serum Institute of India, which said Tuesday that it might not deliver new vaccines until the
end of the year. That is catastrophic news for this part of the world that is so critically in need of vaccines, and COVAX now saying it hopes that
maybe the Serum Institute can begin delivering vaccines by the third quarter. But it's also working to try and get 1.8 billion doses needed for
those countries that are most hit by COVID-19.
So we're not looking -- we're looking at a long time before there's proper control of the pandemic in this part of the world. And as long as not
everybody is vaccinated, it means there might be a new variant of the virus that finds its way to the rest of the world.
GORANI: Larry Madowo, thank you so much, live in Nairobi. Still to come, a hospital is raided by Ethiopian soldiers after a CNN investigation exposed
how aid is being obstructed to the Tigray region. We'll have a live report.
GORANI: We have an update to Nima Elbagir's exclusive reporting from Ethiopia's embattled Tigray region. Our crew witnessed Eritrean soldiers
obstructing aid to that region. This despite statements from Ethiopia's government that Eritrean soldiers had in fact withdrawn. Nema spoke with
doctors in the city of Aksum, who detailed the conditions at a hospital there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Another health facility, Aksum Referral Hospital, soldiers walk in and out of the hospital with impunity. One
sports the camera and runs off. They've run out of blood here. Doctors and medical students are donating their own, but it's still not enough. People
who could have been saved are dying. Every patient you see here, the old, the young, the helpless, all injured in this conflict.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, we are now learning that Ethiopian soldiers have raided a hospital there, reportedly because some of the people who were being
treated there talked to CNN. Nima joins me from London with an update to her story. What do we know about what happened at that hospital and who
might have been targeted and why?
ELBAGIR: Hala, we've been staying in touch with many of the people that we spoke to during this trip exactly because of concerns that there will be
consequences for their bravery and speaking out. We heard from medical staff at Aksum Hospital that at 4:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, armed
Ethiopian soldiers -- over armed, I should say, carrying grenades, carrying machine guns attempted to go into the wards.
They attempted to go into the student dormitories. Luckily, on that initial visit, staff from Medecins Sans Frontieres, Doctors Without Borders, were
there and they were able to convince the soldiers to come back subsequently without their weapons. They came back still with their weapons, but by that
point, many of the patients, those who could move, had fled the hospital.
The doctors we're speaking to, Hala, say that they're incredibly worried about what will happen if the soldiers come back for a third time, but that
they have to stay, not only because the patients that remain are those in the worst conditions, and they feel that it is their duty to stay with the
patients. But also because many of them say it is their duty to continue to stay there and bear witness. They want the world to know what is happening
to them there, Hala.
GORANI: All right. Thanks very much, Nima Elbagir, for that important update. We'll be right back. Stay with CNN.
GORANI: Welcome back. So I want to talk about England just as kind of a case study for other countries and how they will have to manage reopening
bars and restaurants, and trying to get back to normal, because in this country just in the last 24 hours, restaurants, cinemas, and other, you
know, locations where people can get together masks -- maskless are starting to reopen.
However, there's one area of concern and that is the Indian variant. Are the vaccination doses that we've received, some of us, going to protect us
from that? Are we reopening too soon? Will other countries reopen too soon? Let's discuss this with Dr. Richard Dawood. He's the Medical Director at
Fleet Street Clinic in London.
Thanks for being with us. So first off, do you think that we're being a bit hasty here? I mean, on my walk home from work yesterday, I saw pubs that
were pretty packed. No one was wearing a mask, obviously. They were in a pub. Is there a concern that we'll see surges once again?
RICHARD DAWOOD, MEDICAL DIRECTOR, FLEET STREET CLINIC: Well, I think everybody is watching events very carefully. I don't think anyone is taking
this too casually and lightly after all these months of lockdown. I think it's natural to expect that people will be, you know, experiencing a sense
of relief, the release after all this time.
GORANI: Yes, what about this --
DAWOOD: But I think it's something --
GORANI: Sorry, didn't mean to -- go ahead.
DAWOOD: Yes, you know, I think it will have to be very carefully monitored, and it will be carefully monitored. You know, I think we saw this, you
know, three or four weeks ago in stores, shops reopened after lockdown. We didn't see that they were bursting to capacity on day one, people were so
out of the habit of going and doing normal things that it actually took quite a while for things to ramp up.
But I think that there is a, you know, people feel passionately on both sides of this. They feel passionately, some feel very timid about things
reopening too soon, and other people who've seen their livelihoods damaged, and their life chances through education and well-being damaged, feel
passionately the other way.
I think the only thing we can do is really monitor this reopening very carefully, and try and intervene, and slow things down if things don't go
well, and we do see a rise in the number of cases.
GORANI: Well, what about some of these variants, the Indian variant, the South African variant, the vaccinations, the jabs that many people have
received, do they protect us against these variants?
DAWOOD: Well, I mean, there is an element of uncertainty, but I don't think it is uncertainty that should paralyze us. I mean what we're not seeing is
large numbers of infections occurring in people who have been vaccinated. And I think it's important to realize that the numbers of people who've
been vaccinated in the U.K. is really pretty substantial. So thirty-six million people have had their first dose, more than twenty million have had
So, this really is a high level of protection for the most vulnerable people in the population. And really, to continue lockdown without allowing
some kind of release really has a very deep impact, you know, so one of the things I'm seeing in my medical practice is a lot of people are gradually
feeling that they're now in a position to go out and see a physician face to face --
DAWOOD: -- for the first time in months. We are seeing people who should really have sought medical attention much sooner.
DAWOOD: You know, COVID is not the only show in town. There are other health issues, serious health issues --
DAWOOD: -- for people who have pushed this into the background. And I think that --
GORANI: And --
DAWOOD: -- easing lockdown really allows them to, you know, to start to, you know --
GORANI: So --
DAWOOD: -- take care of their overall health.
GORANI: There are other benefits. Dr. Richard Dawood, thanks very much. I'd like to continue this conversation soon. The Medical Director at Fleet
Street Clinic in London. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.